LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC+ could extend the group’s current oil production cuts into 2021 or deepen them further if market conditions require, Algeria’s energy minister told an industry event on Wednesday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, are due to reduce their existing cuts of 7.7 million million barrels per day (bpd) by about 2 million bpd in January.
“I can assure you that OPEC remains committed to taking appropriate actions, in cooperation with its partners in the Declaration of Cooperation, in a manner that is proactive and effective,” Abdelmadjid Attar said.
“This includes the possibility of extending today’s production adjustments into 2021, as well as deepening these adjustments, should market conditions require,” he added.
Attar last week said that Algeria, which currently holds the OPEC presidency, supported an extension of the current cuts into next year, adding that the next OPEC+ meeting could consider a six-month extension.
An extension until the end of March is also being considered as an option, OPEC+ sources said.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister on Monday said the deal could be “tweaked” as it has been in the past if there is consensus among members.
On Wednesday OPEC trimmed its 2021 oil demand growth forecast, citing rising COVID-19 infections.
It now expects oil demand to rise by 6.25 million bpd next year to 96.26 million bpd, OPEC said in a monthly report, down 300,000 bpd from its forecast last month.
At the same time, soaring Libyan production presents another challenge for the group.
However, oil prices have risen sharply this week.
Brent crude LCOc1 and U.S. oil prices CLc1 are up about 14% this week after initial trial data showed the experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc PFE.N and Germany's BioNTech 22UAy.DE was 90% effective.
OPEC+ is due to meet next on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, following a high-level ministerial meeting on Nov. 17.
Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman
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